Silva only taking up space
So far this spring, Carlos Silva has done nothing to earn a spot in the Cubs' starting rotation, and there's no reason to think he'd be of any help in the bullpen.
Whatever exercise program he's on isn't working, and his greatest contribution thus far has been pointing out that Aramis Ramirez can't field his position, something any Cubs fan with a TV has known for a couple of years.
So what does GM Jim Hendry do?
He'd certainly like to get rid of Silva and the $8 million the Cubs still owe him ($6 million in 2011 and a $2 million buyout), but no GM in his right mind would take on that salary unless the Cubs pay a significant portion of the remaining $8 million.
The Cubs would rather not bring him to Chicago if they don't have to — especially with jet fuel prices being what they are — which means Hendry's going to need some help from Tom Ricketts.
It's tricky because Silva is here only because of the Milton Bradley deal, and while Hendry somehow convinced the Mariners to take Bradley and pay $5.5 million of Silva's salary for this season, there's still that $8 million on the Cubs' books.
So how much will Ricketts be willing to eat? A million, or maybe two? How about half? And would that even be enough?
Ricketts has talked a lot about building for the future, and the future is here in Andrew Cashner.
Randy Wells has won the fourth spot in the rotation, and Cashner, while a work in progress, should be the fifth starter. The Cubs view him as a front-end-of-the-rotation guy, his upside is huge, and he needs to be here pitching.
If they ultimately decide he's a late-inning guy, he should be here pitching in the late innings and the fifth spot in the rotation should go to one of the other young arms in camp.
There's just no reason for Carlos Silva to be in Chicago on April 1.
Unless he's pitching for the Pirates.
MLB wins totals
The Vegas money hasn't completely bought into the White Sox' off-season and still has the Twins at 85.5 atop the AL Central in the over-under on wins, ahead of the Sox and Tigers at 84.5, the Indians (72.5) and Royals (68.5).
In the NL Central, the Adam Wainwright injury has opened the door for the Reds and Brewers to claim the top spot at 85.5 victories, followed the Cards (84.5), Cubs (81.5), Astros (72.5) and Pirates (66.5).
The Phillies have a number as imposing as their rotation, leading the NL at 97.5, and followed by the Braves (87.5), Giants (87.5), Rockies (86.5), Dodgers (83.5), Marlins (82.5), Mets (77.5), Padres (75.5), Diamondbacks (72.5) and Nationals (72.5).
In the AL, the Red Sox also have spent their way to a huge total (95.5), and the rest of the league still has the Yanks second (91.5) followed by the Rangers (86.5), Rays (84.5), Angels (83.5), Athletics (82.5), Blue Jays (76.5), Orioles (76.5) and Mariners (70.5).
According to foxsports.com, Felix Hernandez has the Cubs on his list of 10 teams he would not accept a trade to, and it also includes the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, Rangers and Phillies. The other two are unknown.
In most cases, players with limited no-trades focus on small-market or historically bad teams like Kansas City or Pittsburgh.
By taking out of the picture the big-market clubs that could afford him, Hernandez essentially rewards himself with nearly full no-trade protection because most of the other teams don't have the money to pay him.
The PGA Tour
While the golfing world waits for Tiger Woods to win again — and he's moving positively in that direction — the leaderboards are filled with a new generation of great players.
If you thought it impossible to enjoy a Sunday without Woods in the picture — and I was one of those — you haven't given a chance to guys like Graeme McDowell, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy, Johnny Vegas and Rickie Fowler, to name just a few.
The final rounds at Torrey Pines (Watson over Phil Mickelson) and Doral (Nick Watney over Johnson) were riveting, which bodes well for 2011.
The nice move
During their game Saturday against Denver, the Miami Heat will honor Tim James, their 1999 first-round pick who enlisted in the U.S. Army after his playing career and served in Iraq.
Omaha World-Herald's Brad Dickson: "The NFL lockout talks were a joke. Turns out Jerry Jones coordinated the thing and seven owners didn't get seats."
Sportspickle.com: "Tiki Barber announces intentions to get ridiculed."
And finally …
Miami Herald's Greg Cote: "A top-ranked boy in the Iowa state high school wrestling championships forfeited his match rather than compete against a girl. Hmm. Didn't teenage boys used to dream about wrestling with girls?"
•Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM.
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